Remembering Daniel Moe

Contributed by Associate Professor of Music Maribeth Clark
New College Chorus conductor Daniel Moe died on May 24, 2012. He was 85 years old. After announcing his retirement from Key Chorale, Moe accepted an offer to serve as the director of the New College Chorus, which he led from fall 2005 until fall 2010.
During his time directing the New College Chorus, Moe regularly led students in end-of-semester musicales. His programs often featured a guest soloist from the community as part of the choral performance, including pianist and accompanist Virginia Bray, baritone Bret Aarden, flutist Maribeth Clark, trumpeter Dave Baugas, and, on one special occasion, Daniel Mendelow, the principal trumpeter of the Sydney Orchestra who now resides part-time in Sarasota. In this way Moe worked not only to establish a choral tradition, but to enhance the musical community at New College through regular performances.
Moe was known internationally as a composer and conductor. After receiving his PhD in 1961, he served as the director of choral music at the University of Iowa from 1961 to 1972, and as Professor of Choral Conducting at Oberlin Conservatory of Music from 1972 to 1992, where he led numerous choral ensembles, taking groups on tour regularly and performing to acclaim at Carnegie Hall.  He served as artistic director of Sarasota’s Key Chorale from 1992 until 2006.
As the son of a Lutheran minister, Moe was steeped in Lutheran choral traditions from his childhood in North Dakota to his attendance at Concordia College as an undergraduate. Much of his work as a composer responded to his Lutheran faith.  When asked once to reflect on his oeuvre, he said he valued most the many anthems he had composed. He was also honored that a number of scholars had chosen to focus on his compositions and his choral conducting as the subject of PhD dissertations.
He will be remembered for the beauty of his conducting technique, the masterful quality of his compositions, his generous spirit and his unfailing kindness.